Republican Rep. Cory Mills of Florida has announced articles of impeachment against Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin over the “intentional abandonment of Americans” in Afghanistan.
Mr. Mills on Friday accused the head of the Department of Defense with dereliction of his duty. The accusation stems from Mr. Austin’s handling of the Biden administration’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2021.
“Despite having nearly 8 months as Secretary of Defense to prepare for and execute as smooth and orderly departure from Afghanistan, Secretary Austin failed to adequately prepare for such a withdrawal, including through his decisions during the catastrophic events of July and August 2021, which initially resulted in as many as 9,000 American citizens being abandoned in Afghanistan,” Mr. Mills wrote in the impeachment resolution.
Mr. Mills said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that Biden administration officials “blatantly ignored intel that Americans and our allied partners in Kabul would be left behind in harm’s way” unless the withdrawal was retooled.
GOP lawmakers have long criticized the Biden administration’s chaotic and sudden withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years in the country, particularly over a lack of accountability for high-level officials, like Mr. Austin, over the fallout of the move.
“It’s not enough for Congress to hold committee hearings,” Mr. Mills said. “We must start taking real action to address the complete failure of this administration.”
Mr. Austin told lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee earlier this year that he had “no regrets” over the withdrawal.
The resolution comes on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the deaths of 13 service members who were killed by a suicide bomber at Kabul airport. The lawmaker charged that Mr. Austin’s actions led to their deaths, and the deaths of 200 civilians who were killed by the same blast.
“Tomorrow marks two years to the day that we lost 13 of our brave servicemembers,” Mr. Mills said on X. “The fact that it has been two entire years without any member of this administration being held accountable is unfathomable. That changes today.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert, Colorado Republican, came out in support of the articles of impeachment. Ms. Boebert also has her own impeachment resolution against President Biden over his handling of the U.S./Mexico border.
“There must be accountability for the embarrassing withdrawal in Afghanistan that killed hundreds of people and thirteen American soldiers,” Ms. Boebert said on X.
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